Zuppa Inglese

4 eggs, separated
4 ounces sugar
4 ounces plain flour, sifted
Pinch of salt
Strega liqueur (or a mixture of cognac and rum)
½ pint double cream, whipped
¾ pint vanilla pastry cream (see below)
1 pint chocolate pastry cream (see below)
2 ounces chopped nuts
Coarsely grated orange peel
Chopped glacé cherries

Combine eggs and sugar in the top of a double saucepan and whisk over hot but not boiling water until thick and creamy. The mixture must not boil, or eggs will curdle. Remove from heat and allow to cool a little. Then lightly fold in sifted flour and salt.

Divide mixture into 3 sponge tins (7-inch, 6-inch, and 4-inch) and bake layers in a moderately hot oven (400° – M5) for 12 to 15 minutes. Cool and turn out of tins.

Cut each of the three sponge cakes into 2 layers and then cut 1 layer of each pair 1 inch smaller than the other. Sprinkle each layer with a little liqueur. Then sandwich sponge layers alternately with whipped cream, vanilla pastry cream, and chocolate pastry cream mixed with chopped nuts.

Assemble cake like an upturned “flowerpot”. Spread outside of cake with remaining chocolate pastry cream. Pipe with whipped cream and decorate with grated orange peel and glacé cherries.

Vanilla pastry cream: Cream 3 ounces sugar, 3 egg yolks and 11/2 ounces plan flour with a little milk in a bowl. Heat 3/4 pint milk infused with a vanilla pod in the top of a double saucepan. Stir gradually into the sugar and egg yolk mixture. Return mixture to top of double saucepan and cook over water, stirring constantly until mixture is thick and creamy. (Note: do not let mixture boil or eggs will curdle.) Cool.

Chocolate pastry cream: Cream 4 ounces sugar, 4 egg yolks and 2 ounces plain flour with a little milk in a bowl. Heat 1 pint milk with 3 ounces grated chocolate in the top of a double saucepan. Stir gradually into sugar and egg yolk mixture. Return mixture to top of double saucepan and cook over water, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick and creamy. (Do not let boil.) Allow to cool before using.


Thomas Nelson & Sons Ltd., 36 Park Street, London W.1. © Robert Carrier 1968

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